THE REJUVENATION MYSTERY REVEALED
“She was dressed all in black. We spoke only for a few lingering moments before she exited the train. At that moment I knew that she was to be in my future.”
The novel doesn’t continue here, those words are my trying out plot thoughts for the start of a book I’m writing. This is what happens at Rancho La Puerta, Imagination is inspired to be fun and crazy along with the romance of beauty, pleasure, health and the wellness that it advertises. The “Ranch” as it’s called is rated the best destination spa in the world. It not only entices with activities and fitness classes, spa services and therapies but gives time for writing, reading, and thought, opportunities to explore new ideas.
Located in Mexico, just minutes across the Tecate border and inland from San Diego, my 10 day stay is about to end. Driving from Los Angeles was an easy 4 hour drive, flights to San Diego are numerous. Approaching the sculptured metal gate of the Ranch, all tensions begin dropping off on the dusty highway. The gates part and what begins is an oasis of Mediterranean planting, curvilinear walkways, Mexican style casitas and flowering vine-covered buildings spotted around forty acres beneath sacred Mt Kuchumaa, the early morning hiker’s dream on two thousand acres of land.
All is wellness, fitness, and the spirit of loving oneself. That attitude permeates all who step through “La Puerta.” Personal awakening and expansion sneaks up in subtle steps as the week progresses. It happens from an almost unlimited list of choices for exercise, learning and release. Sprinkled throughout each day, the appetite to try all gets overwhelming.
Which brings to mind the food, as this spa has an almost vegetarian spread with an addition of fish. The breadth of choice again is unlimited, each year something new is added. Breakfast and lunches are cafeteria style, enjoyed in the handsome dining hall or on patios with splashing fountains. Four course dinners served by the world-famous Ranch staff are times to join a table and enjoy new-made friends. The option is always open to eat with your companion or group. The chefs have mastered the art of making meals equal to any top restaurant along with colorful and appetizing presentations.
La Cocina Que Canta is the cooking school, a separate kitchen, dining room and patios located nearby the main campus. There renowned chefs give cooking classes using the ingredients from the spa’s expansive organic farm. Morning hikes to the Cocina give guests an opportunity to enjoy a garden tour following a freshly cooked breakfast.
Rest, replenishment and rejuvenation are not a mystery as my title might have suggested. Instead, all this occurs if just by walking the magnificent and fragrant garden paths all day, mind, body and spirit would be satisfied. Ranch goers greet each other with “How many times have you been here,” a testament to how many guests repeat these experiences year after year. Lively chatter and the hum of conversations tell of the sense of community and bonding. Weather dictates to some guests, but the temperatures vary less than many vacation destinations. Winter can bring some very cold nights contrasted to some very warm days in the summer. What remains is a year full of choice for all.
Choices are gifts and as examples the gifts range from classes of meditation, stretch, yoga, pilates, circuit training, posture and balance, various forms of dance, swimming, tennis and so much more. Mixed-in is a menu of sand volley ball, water polo on a noodle, jewelry making, sculpting, bird and history walks.
I spoke of the staff who add so much to any experience. The Ranch staff is superb, from the kitchen, to the treatments, the work-out teachers, the guest lecturers and the entertainers. Yes, each week guest artists of classical, Broadway and jazz music elevate the day, plus movie lovers can add popcorn to the nightly movie selection. And, I must not forget Bingo night. This Bingo evening is not for the faint of heart. You want to laugh hard, go to Bingo. Winning a prize or not, the smiles are broader and the heart is lighter at bedtime.
The gardeners, the housekeepers, those many behind the scenes are as friendly and helpful as the administrators and owners. Deborah Szekely and her husband started the spa 75 years ago. Without the family's and her continuing dedication to wellness/spiritual health and support of the nearby community through providing good jobs, many thousands of people would never have been impacted as they have been for three quarters of a century. Deborah is the grand lady I would nominate for my heroine in this world.
With all there is to do here, my novel may not be finished yet. Yet I give credit for the inspiration received at Rancho La Puerta for much of my success in the important life-changing ways that have happened here.